Supermileage Enterprise Wins at Shell Eco-Marathon

SSE and ShellThe 33rd annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition took place over the weekend, April 27-30 in Detroit, MI. This year’s event was the second season that Michigan Tech’s Supermileage Systems Enterprise team competed.  Shell Eco-marathon challenges student teams from around the world to design, build, test and drive ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. More than 100 teams from universities and high schools across the country and abroad came to the heart of the Motor City to compete on the track located on the city streets surrounding the Cobo Convention Center.

Read more at Pavlis Honors College, by Amy Karagiannakis.


Abdelkhalik Team at Global Space Competition

GTOCA team of Michigan Tech and University of Michigan students placed 16th in the European Space Agency’s 9th Global Trajectory Optimization Competition. The online competition attracted 69 teams.

The competition challenge was: “It is the year 2060 and the commercial exploitation of Low Earth Orbits (LEOs) went well beyond the trillion of Euros market size. Following the unprecedented explosion of a Sun-synchronous satellite, the Kessler effect triggered further impacts, and the Sun-synchronous LEO environment was severely compromised.

Scientists from all main space agencies and private space companies isolated a set of 123 orbiting debris pieces that, if removed, would restore the possibility to operate in that precious orbital environment and prevent the Kessler effect from permanently compromising it. You are thus called to design a series of missions able to remove all critical debris pieces while minimizing the overall cumulative cost of such an endeavor. Each single mission cost (in EUR) will depend on how early the mission is submitted via this web-site (regardless of their actual launch epoch) and on the spacecraft initial mass.”

Michigan Tech’s team included Ossama Abdelkhalik (MEEM), four graduate students and one remote graduate student.

By Jenn Donovan.


Mobile Lab at TARDEC

Mobile Lab
Mobile Lab

The Michigan Tech Mobile Lab is currently at TARDEC (U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center) in Warren, Michigan, delivering six professional development short courses in Instrumentation and Experimentation, Hybrid Electric Vehicles and High Voltage Safety.

Classes involve a mix of direction instruction, hands on activities, demonstrations and lab exercises. Students will have a chance to operate a propulsion system dynamometer test cell, experience the differences between different HEV architectures, build their own signal conditioning circuits, as well as perform a high voltage battery removal.

The students are composed of design and test engineers and technical staff. Instructors include Jeremy Worm, Chris Morgan, Darrell Robinette, Lucia Gauchia, Wayne Weaver and Ron Butler.


Water Drones for Rescuing Swimmers

SENSEThe Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on a two-day conference on new life-saving technologies for the Great Lakes. One of the demonstrations was by Michigan Tech, where the SENSE Enterprise team and Andrew Barnard (ME-EM) are developing drones to help save people who are drowning. Read the story here.

The story was also picked up by the Detroit Free Press and the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune.

With Great Lakes drownings spiking, rescuers look to education, technology

Michigan Tech students are working on a drone that can be used as a life raft, cheap and affordable enough that they can be kept at popular swimming beaches or in squad car trunks and used very quickly.

“It’s like a mechanized life ring,” said Andrew Barnard, leader of the SENSE Enterprise Team at Michigan Tech. “If you’ve got someone 100 yards offshore, it takes away the danger of swimming out to them or the time it takes to get a boat. A life ring can only be thrown maybe 25 yards and if it’s windy it’s hard to get the life ring to the person.”

The Michigan Tech water drone prototype, which students dubbed Nautical Emergency Rescue Drone (NERD), uses plastic PVC piping, low-cost remote vehicle propellers and the same controls used for remote-controlled planes and boats.

Read more at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, by Meg Jones.

2017 Ford College Community Challenge Top 20 – Michigan Technological University (SENSE Enterprise)

Michigan Tech students’ work with Strategic Education through Naval Systems Experiences Enterprise is underway benchmarking existing rescue methods, technologies to define a cost effective system; testing concept stages and initial prototype.

Read more and watch the video at Ford Blue Oval Network.



Three Short Courses in Vehicle Dynamics and Diesel Engines to be Offered Summer 2017

APS Lab

Back by popular demand, three short courses will be offered this summer.

The courses are “Experimental Studies in Vehicle Dynamics,” “Fundamentals of Diesel Engines” and “Diesel Engine Control Systems.”

Courses include extensive laboratory components with a format that mixes traditional lecture and group discussion with hands-on experiments conducted in powertrain test-cells and through driving vehicles on the road. The courses will be available to all Michigan Tech graduate students and undergraduate seniors. Each course is one credit with a lab fee of $265. Course descriptions are included below.

Experimental Studies in Vehicle Dynamics: MEEM 5990 Section 50 — A combination of lecture and hands-on activities. Measure and understand vehicle size and CG (X-Y-Z), Determine optimum suspension setup for handling and performance. Model and measure real world vehicle acceleration for correlation and prediction of vehicle performance. See the effects of vehicle design on understeer and oversteer during limit handling.

Fundamentals of Diesel Engines: MEEM 5202 — A combination of lecture and hands-on activities. Options for transportation and lunch. Content; fundamentals of operation, performance metrics, thermochemistry, combustion, fuel injection and spray, air systems and turbocharging, EGR, energy balance, heat transfer, diesel engine simulation and advanced concepts and trends in diesel engines.

Diesel Engine Control Systems: MEEM 5204 — A combination of lecture and hands-on activities. Options for transportation and lunch. Content; review diesel operation, regulations, intro to engine control, diesel engine actuators, load control, Start of Injection, Rail Pressure, Turbo Control, EGR and Engine Out Emissions, aftertreatment, algorithm and calibration, OBD and controller communications.

These courses are a great option for anyone looking to increase their understanding of vehicle systems or engines, or for students needing additional credits.

All courses will be delivered from the Michigan Tech Advanced Power Systems Research Center located near the Houghton County Airport. The courses will be two-and-a-half days in duration, starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday and ending at 5 p.m. Friday of that same week. Transportation to and from campus may be provided each day. Lunch will be provided on Thursday and Friday.

Registration is now open through banweb:

  • Experimental Studies in Vehicle Dynamics — 6/14/17-6/16/17 CRN 52391
  • Fundamentals of Diesel Engines — 7/12/17 through 7/14/17 CRN 52378
  • Diesel Engine Control Systems — 8/02/17 through 8/04/17 CRN 52379

Students are welcome to register for any or all three. There are no pre-requisites, but familiarity with vehicle dynamics, thermodynamics and/or IC engine cycles will be helpful.

Contact Chris Morgan for further details.


HIRoLab Featured in National Biomechanics Day Outreach

HIRoLab Circular Treadmill
HIRoLab Circular Treadmill

National Biomechanics Day is Thursday (April 6, 2017), a world-wide event for high-school teachers and students to advance the science and education of human biomechanics.

This year’s theme is, “Science Meets Fun on National Biomechanics Day.” The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology (KIP) Department has collaborated with several departments across campus to invite local students to engage in fun, hands-on activities focused on biomechanics research.

In Mo Rastgaar’s (MEEM) HIROlab, students will place EMG sensors on their arms and move a robotic arm, as well as investigate an agile robotic prosthesis as it moves on a circular treadmill.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday with lab activities scheduled to begin at 9:10 a.m.

Read more at Tech Today, by Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology.



Heat Treatment Market Trends in Experiments for Future Engineers

Chang Kyoung Choi
Principal Investigator Chang Kyoung Choi

Boston Commons, a science and technology news website, published an article about experiments for future engineers, citing among others Michigan Tech’s economic sustainability study looking at the economic demographic of the area to determine if it will support mines production rates now and in the future. Tech’s study will provide future market trends and comprehensive technology analysis on heat treatment.

The article cited current work by Chang Choi and Jeffrey Allen on “Technical Survey on High Efficient Intensive Cooling Control Technology.”


Nancy Barr Presents on Reflexive Writing

Nancy Barr
Nancy Barr

Nancy Barr, director of the Engineering Communications Program in the department of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, recently presented work at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) 2017 annual convention in Portland, Oregon, a competitive, peer-reviewed conference.

Barr’s presentation was titled “Reflection/Deflection: Challenges of Incorporating Reflexive Writing into a Mechanical Engineering Program.”

Each year the CCCC Convention draws college faculty members from around the world. They gather to hear award-winning speakers, attend presentations by colleagues on the latest innovations in education and network to gain knowledge of best practices in the field.